In this special 10-part series, ESPN's Jayaditya Gupta, who has attended every World Cup since 2002, recalls his favourite matches from the tournament, from Senegal's famous upset win in the 2002 opener to Germany's rout of Brazil in 2014.
It's not often, in the World Cup, that the best creative, attacking teams perform on the ground as they appear on paper. But on this day, some of the best creative players of the day produced eye-catching football in Stuttgart.
Cristiano Ronaldo left a lasting impression in 2010 as Portugal routed North Korea, whose misery extended well beyond the scoreline.
A nation went mad as Guus Hiddink turned a baseball country into one squarely behind football when South Korea hosted their first WC game.
After ensuring England's qualification, David Beckham now had a chance to wash away four years of guilt against a star-studded Argentina team.
Brazil didn't go far in 2006 but for one night in Dortmund, the samba did come to town.
Breaking the curse of the World Cup opener, the 2006 curtain-raiser marked the beginning of the new era for Germany.
Maradona's men couldn't find an answer to the speed and passing of the Germans, who went on to have their third four-goal game of the tournament.
By the time those in the stadium had wrapped their heads around Zidane's red card, the penalty shootout was over and Italy were world champions.
The result was a shock. France, the team of Zidane, Desailly, Barthez, losing to rank newcomers?
For the football fans who had wondered what the Maracanazo was like, July 8, 2014 gave them a pretty good idea of that.